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Nihilism is about connecting with people

Submitted by kore in thoughts (edited )

So I've been reading some popular nihilism works, desert, baedan, green nihilism or cosmic pessimism, toward the queerest insurrection, gender nihilism an anti-manifesto (which by the way the author has responded to, and you should definitely read it if you've read gender nihilism). I've also been reading a fair bit of Nietzsche for a class. Point is, been thinking a lot about nihilism, and I've also been noticing that it's getting pretty popular here.

It's really easy (at least for me) to fall into the mindset of "nothing matters, so I might as well advocate for destroying everything." I do not think that this is what nihilism is really about. To me, recognizing that there is no inherent value or meaning to anything and recognizing that this world is full of terrible suffering is not an exhortation to make it go away. Rather, it is about learning to accept that suffering so it doesn't affect you while at the same time helping as many other living beings as possible become free from suffering. Individualism is not about isolating oneself, it's about realizing that other people are individuals too.

As soon as I understood this perspective my heart became tender and my mind at ease. A lot of postleft/nihilist critique of the left seems to be this pessimism about the possibility of realizing any sort of utopia. I think there's something to that for sure, but I think the solution is not necessarily destruction, but rather focusing on efforts that alleviate suffering now rather than dreaming for the future.

The world is chaos, the world is brutal, and I can't help but help and love.

Especially when there are a lot of nihilist works on our reading list, I just wanted to share my thoughts. Good night.

Oh just quick edit: this thinking is influenced by reading some zen works too. They're the chillest nihilists....

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noordinaryspider wrote

Thank you. This is a lot of what I'm grappling with right now and you were able to put it into words better than I can.

I have had the word "nihilism" used as an epitet, usually more to dismiss my writing as garbage than to discredit me politically, and have recently bumbled upon a very objective use of the term as a description that kind of fits this stage of life or paradigm shift I'm struggling with.

Of course I feel immense anger and rage when my loved ones are suffering and I am unable to help them and this frightens me, but I also feel this immense love towards my fellow sufferers.